When it’s time to move into an assisted living facility, everyone involved in the move will have a lot of questions. If you are helping a loved one decide which community is right for them, you should be asking a lot of questions during tours.
Before going in, you’ll probably have a general idea of the things you need to know and the topics you’ll want to cover. You definitely need to cover basic housekeeping questions like:
- Cost and payment options
- Insurance coverage
- Discharge policy
- What services are included and which are extra
But, there are other, more specific questions regarding lifestyle, quality of life and the general feel of the facility that you should be asking. Often, these questions reveal more about the community and are more important than the “housekeeping” questions. If you’re looking for assisted living in Grand Rapids, Mi or anywhere, make sure to ask the following questions.
What are the “Age in Place” Options?
If your loved one is thinking about leaving their home for assisted living, it’s probably going to be a big change. Once they make the move, consistency will be important and another move will be the last thing on everyone’s mind. Before you choose an assisted living facility, ask about the level of care they can offer if your loved one experiences any health changes or setbacks? Do they have the services to care for them if they experience dementia or if they lose mobility? What about hospice? Is this a community your loved one can stay in as long as they need to? Make sure the next move they make is as permanent as possible.
How Many Personal Items are Allowed?
Personal touches are important when it comes to feeling at home in a new environment. How much of their own furniture, decor and home items can your loved one bring with them to their new home? Will they be able to completely outfit their apartment with their own furniture and favorite rugs? Will there be room for their favorite books, pictures, or wall art? Bringing a touch of home may be an important deciding factor in choosing a place so it’s an important question to ask.
What Services are Offered on Site?
The services offered on site can make a facility feel more like a community than just a place. By offering beauty salons, libraries, cafes, mailboxes and even walking paths, residents can make their own appointments and attend them without leaving the facility. This can add a level of independence and they won’t need to rely on rides or public transportation to enjoy these small pleasures.
What are Other Residents/Families Saying?
During your tour, take some time to aim questions not just at the staff, but at other residents. Try to time a visit when other families will be visiting so you can chat with them as well. Ask about the general mood of their loved one, their activity levels and what their favorite things to do are.
What Types of Activities, Either Within or Outside the Facility, are Offered?
How will the facility help your loved one remain active, engaged and social? While many residents will want to plan and attend their own activities outside the facility, it may be best for some to stay close. For these residents, it’s comforting knowing that there will be activities for them to participate in whether or not they choose to leave the community daily or stay. Daily activities and an active social life are important to everyone’s well-being and are particularly important within an assisted living facility.
Don’t just ask surface level “housekeeping” questions. To get a feel for what life will look like within a community, dig deeper and ask questions that matter.